Business Gateway: FOI review

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/18/00644
Date received: 12 March 2018
Date responded: 5 April 2018

Information requested

  • The rate of businesses started, number still trading after 12 months of businesses started using the Business Gateway resource and the number of people who approached Business Gateway but did not start a business.

  • Details concerning the experience of the self-employment advisors of Business Gateway and Invest in Renfrewshire.

  • Details concerning minimum requirements for the advisor position at the business gateway


I have concluded that the original decision should be confirmed, without modifications.

In conducting my review I have considered the case afresh. I have conducted a further search of our records and I am satisfied that the information provided to you on 12 March details all of the information that is held by Scottish Government which would fall within the scope of your request.

You may find it helpful to note that information about number of business supported and survival rates is also available from the Business Gateway website and for 2016-17 the information is available at: Other years are also available.

You indicate that as "Business Gateway is a Scottish Government resource and receives funding from the Scottish Government, as such I find it hard to believe that the Scottish Government does not have this information. If this is inaccurate and the Scottish Government does not provide funding for Business Gateway, I would like to see evidence of this. If the Scottish Government does not hold this information directly, please tell me the public authority that does hold this information."

I can clarify that the Business Gateway service is the responsibility of local authorities to deliver. Scottish Government provides funding support for the service as part of the Local Authority Finance Settlement, however, there is no obligation on local authorities to report to Scottish Ministers on the level of detail that you request, ie training or competence of business advisers. Further information on local authorities in Scotland are given:

You may wish to consider contact areas in which you have an interest.

You ask "If the Scottish Government does not hold this information directly, please tell me the public authority that does hold this information."

As indicated in the original response on 12 March, Hugh Lightbody is the Chief Officer for the Business Gateway National Unit (BGNU), based within COSLA, the representsative public body for local authorities. BGNU has responsibility for consistency of the Business Gateway service and its performance management. You may wish to contact COSLA on:

who may be able to help you with your request.

However you may also wish to note that as COSLA is not a Scottish Public Authority they are not required to respond to a request under FOISA.

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference

Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road

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